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Misconceptions About Dementia

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

When it comes to dementia, it’s not always easy separating fact from fiction. To clear a few things up for dementia caregivers in Nashville, we’ve provided some clarification regarding the most common misconceptions surrounding the disease.

Genetic Factors

There is a common misconception that dementia can be passed down from parents to children. However, dementia does not have a strong link to genetics. It often occurs due to a combination of environmental factors that can be traced back to a person’s early childhood. Nevertheless, certain ethnic groups are more likely to get dementia. For example, African Americans carry a higher risk of developing dementia than whites of the same age.

Aging

Many people believe that elderly individuals will inevitably develop some form of dementia. The truth is that this condition can affect people who have not even reached retirement age. Folks who have experienced severe head trauma in their early adulthood are very likely to develop some symptoms of dementia before becoming senior citizens. The truth is that a loss of cognitive function is not always tied to aging.

Prevention

The health market is saturated with products that promise to boost memory and other cognitive abilities. For example, gingko biloba is a type of herbal supplement that is often advertised as a miracle supplement that fights dementia and other cognitive disorders. Although natural products like this may have some legitimate benefits, it will not prevent the onset of dementia.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Alcohol and illegal drugs cause damage to the brain and other organs. However, the abuse of such substances has not been linked directly to dementia. Although alcoholics and drug addicts may experience permanent damage to some parts of their brains, these individuals are not necessarily more susceptible to developing dementia. Instead, they are more likely to experience mobility problems and other physical limitations.

Types of Dementia

Some Alzheimer’s caregivers in Nashville don’t realize that Alzheimer’s is actually the most common form of dementia. Other forms include Lewy body, vascular and frontotemporal dementia. Each category of dementia is diagnosed based on the area of the brain that is compromised and the presence of other physical and mental symptoms.

If your senior loved one lives with dementia, Home Care Assistance of Nashville can help. As a leading provider of elder care in Nashville, we boost emotional wellbeing and cognitive function by interacting with seniors on a live-in or hourly basis. Our highly trained caregivers help our clients with everything from personal care and safety monitoring to medication reminders and transportation to and from appointments. Call (615) 656-4999 today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our comprehensive Alzheimer’s and dementia home care.